Chapter 51: The Sun Rises

The elf woke early the next morning feeling refreshed and untroubled. She found herself humming fragments of an Elven Aria and an Ode to trees as she made her way down to breakfast.

Erulastiel was cooking and the sweet smell of fresh fruit did even more to wash away Aliryia’s troubles. She bade her friend a melodic good morning and sat to await her food.

A whole weight had been taken off her chest the previous night; the elf happily thought about the new Sister. As though she was summoned by Aliryia’s musings, Calea bumbled down the stairs, rather bleary-eyed, but also brought to life by the scents of the morning. She greeted both of the other occupants of the kitchen with a grin, settling across from Aliryia and gently watching her.

“Did you sleep well last night?” she asked, before observing, “it’s going to be a fine day to-day.”

“Oh, indeed, Sister,” Aliryia said to both.

An energy of friendship crackled between them. The strong tie of amiability gleamed off both and formed an arc of warm sunshine in-between. The real sunshine poured past the single-paned windows too, settling on the nourishment that Eru placed down on the table.

The girls, engrossed in their silent munching did not notice Jacquiline or Alkrya come down their separate ways from the second floor; the latter sat beside Aliryia, whilst the former, after a moment’s hesitation, chose her place between Calea and Eru.

The girls chatted meaninglessly for a while as they finished their meal, fishing for compliments, as girls do, or spouting anecdotes to pass along. It was still the five of them when Calea heard a tred on the doorstep and turned to see Maine. The girl seated herself, ignoring the plate of food in front of her.

“I thought I was late. Where are the others?”

“They must be having a lie-in,” said Jacquiline.

Maine nodded and the room descended into a restless silence. Erulastiel’s brilliance saved them from more pain however.

“What shall we do today?” she said. “Shall we go to the shops?”

“Please, Sister,” Aliryia replied. “I think we’ve had enough of such things.”

“There’s not much else we could do,” pointed out Jacquiline. “This house is so bare.”

“How do you know?” snarled Maine. “You’ve only been here two days!”

“Sisters!” Aliryia cried, sensing the frustration rebounding off the walls. “What do you say to an exploration of the house? It shall give us something to do, and then we will be able to determine what else is set up in this Sistren. It’s true, I don't think any of us have ventured beyond the front room, this kitchen, and our bedrooms.”

There were murmurs in the affirmative. Calea was the first to break into a satisfied, reassuring smile.

“I was thinking that…” began Alkrya, before stopping herself quickly. “No, actually, it doesn’t matter.”

She forced a fake smile onto her lips, but it couldn’t quite reach her eyes. Aliryia spotted the lizard playing with an object on the end of a chain-link around her neck. It seemed that no-one else had seen this tiny detail.

Eru stood up, spreading her hands wide about her, as the sometime-prophets of Aliryia's old home had done.

“Well, it seems we’re going to explore the house today. I’ll leave a note for the other girls to find us when they’re ready.”

And that she did.

The End

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